Lok Sabha MP Dr Shashi Tharoor has stated that the legalisation of sports betting in India could benefit both the government and the sports industry in many ways, adding that it would also help to minimise match-fixing in cricket.
In an exclusive live chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Dr Shashi Tharoor spoke about the significance of transforming betting on cricket games in India. He listed the advantages of legalising sports betting and added that the government could earn a fair amount of revenue in this manner.
Shashi Tharoor feels the public need to be educated about the practical aspect of betting in cricket
Fantasy cricket in India has grown tremendously after the Supreme Court declared it a 'fair' game. The fact that India's most famous fantasy platform, Dream11, is sponsoring the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) highlights their rapid growth.
The government earns tax revenue from such platforms, and Dr Shashi Tharoor feels that sports betting could boost its revenue even further.
When asked about his views on legalising cricket betting in India, the 64-year-old replied:
"I not only have recommended that (legalising betting), but I also introduced a Private Members' Bill in the last Parliament that would legalise sports betting."
"Number one, it takes away the power from the underworld. Right now, the mafia that controls betting syndicates and bets on matches they are ones who do things like match-fixing and so on. An open above board betting system would not do that. Secondly, you can tax legal betting, and when you tax it, revenues of the tax go up."
Dr Shashi Tharoor admitted that he is surprised that the government had not legalised betting in the country. He also feels that the public needs to be educated on how illegal sports betting has led to the terrible use of inside knowledge, increased unaccounted money and episodes of spot-fixing.
He concluded by saying that these things should be brought under control through the process of licensed and regulated legalisation.Published 04 Sep 2020, 07:53 IST